IDF 2013: Intel Shows Off New Xeon Chips

Intel touts a more dynamic data centre offering after unveiling its new Xeon E5-2600 server chips

Intel continues to push its data centre offerings, one week after it unveiled the company’s Atom C2000 “Avoton” family of processors.

At the Intel Developer Forum 10 September, the company announced the latest generation of its Xeon E5-2600 server chips which includes 21 different products that can address not only server workloads, but also storage and networking jobs and can address everything from cloud computing to high-performance computing demands.

Better Performance

dianebryantintelleadThe 22-nanometer E5-2600 v2 “Ivy Bridge” processors come a year after Intel launched the first-generation “Sandy Bridge” E5-2600 chips, and offer as much as 50 percent better performance and 45 greater energy efficiency than their predecessors, Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Datacenter and Connected Systems Group, told analysts and journalists at the show.

The chips offer up to 12 cores with speeds of between 1.7GHz and 3.5GHz.

Systems makers like IBM, Cisco Systems, Cray, Lenovo and SGI announced plans for new servers based on the Ivy Bridge chips, while Hewlett-Packard at an event in New York City showed off a revamped Z portfolio of workstations that will be powered by the new processors.

The new chips continue what has been a busy few months for Intel’s data centre unit, though much of the past efforts have focused on the Atom C2000 systems-on-a-chip (SoC), which are aimed at small systems running lightweight workloads.

However, Bryant’s message for the new Xeons echo what she has said about the new Atom processors: that demands in the data centre are rapidly changing, and that component makers must adapt their products to meet those demands.

Cloud Demand

Driving the changes is the rise of cloud computing and the rapid increase in the number of connected devices being among consumers and business users alike.

Businesses want to spin out cloud services as quickly as possible, and the infrastructure must be able to handle the data storage and networking demands the billions of connected devices place on it. Greater automation, flexibility and scalability are crucial, Bryant said.

The Xeon E5-2600 v2 chips are designed to provide the flexibility data centre infrastructures need to deal with the variety of workloads in the data centre, she said. The different chips in the family have varying features such as core counts, frequencies and accelerators that enable them to address different applications.

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Originally published on eWeek.